News • September 01, 2021

Life and passions of Dr. Bonnie G. Metcalf remembered at memorial service

Life and passions of Dr. Bonnie G. Metcalf remembered at memorial service

Upon her retirement in 2000, Dr. Bonnie G. Metcalf accepts the title of Vice President for Academic Affairs Emeritus from Dr. Ronald L. Ellis.

Riverside, Calif. (Aug. 31, 2021) – Dr. Bonnie G. Metcalf was remembered for her love of travel, jewelry and California Baptist University at a memorial service on campus on Aug. 30.

Metcalf, a former longtime CBU employee, passed away Aug. 4. She graduated from then California Baptist College in 1969 and worked in several positions at the university over the years (1971-2000), including secretary to the vice president for Academic Affairs, professor of education and vice president for Academic Affairs. Dr. Bonnie G. Metcalf School of Education was named in her honor in 2003.

Metcalf was acting vice president for Academic Affairs when Dr. Ronald L. Ellis became president in 1994. Having worked with her in the weeks before his official first day on the job, Ellis said his first recommendation to the Board of Trustees was to name Metcalf as vice president for Academic Affairs. 

“There are people you meet in life that, upon the first impression, you know are going to be special, and you just feel like you've known them for a long, long period of time,” Ellis said. “Bonnie Metcalf had that type of relationship with me.

Dr. H. Bruce Stokes, professor of anthropology and behavioral sciences, said Metcalf impacted his life as a colleague.

“I found Bonnie to be one of the classiest ladies I ever knew. … She didn't perform or put on airs,” Stokes said. “Her presence was always a comfort to me because she was committed during those difficult times as was I to CBC and its mission.”

Dr. Amy Stumpf, professor of society and religion, said Metcalf changed her life. Metcalf hired Stumpf as her secretary and later encouraged Stumpf to pursue her doctorate and provided her with her first teaching opportunity.

“She knew the power of beauty to refresh her spirit, to help her face the day and bring a little delight. 

I knew a woman who made life joyful and loved to laugh,” Stumpf said. “I knew a woman who was very smart. She could take in a lot of information, distill it, apply it and then get people to buy in.”

Granddaughter Brandie Metcalf (’97, ’13) remembered walking across the stage for graduation and her grandmother handing her the diploma.

“She always loved graduation time. She loved seeing her students and everybody succeed and that was always her mission,” Brandie Metcalf said. “I know that she will inspire the next generations to find and live their purpose as well as she did while she was here with us.”

Metcalf retired as vice president for Academic Affairs in 2000.

“I am an educator and this is my mission in life,” Metcalf told The Banner in 2000. “Some people are doctors; some are lawyers and missionaries. I am an educator.” 

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